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HealthInfo Canterbury

Choosing a mobility scooter

Buying a mobility scooter will open up your world if you struggle to walk around your community. There are many different options so it is important you know what to look for.

Where to start

Choosing scooterThe best place to start is to visit (or ask for a visit from) a local supplier of mobility scooters. You can search online or in your yellow pages, but often the best way is to ask around. If you see somebody on the street or in the shops ask them where they got theirs! You are looking for a supplier who meets the following criteria.

What to consider before buying

Mobility scooters are ideal if you are able to walk around your own home but need help to get out and about. If you struggle to walk inside, you may be better suited to a wheelchair, and this will often be provided for you by the Ministry of Health (via Enable – ask your GP to refer you). Some people use a wheelchair indoors but a mobility scooter outdoors.

However, mobility scooters aren't for everyone. Some conditions such as poor vision, memory loss or dementia, and some brain and nerve disorders may affect your ability to use a mobility scooter safely. In these cases, it's a very good idea to get an independent assessment by an occupational therapist or physiotherapist before you buy one, to make sure you will be able to use it.

Mobility scooters are a bit like cars – there is a wide range of shapes and sizes and you need to choose one that suits you. However, they are not meant to be sat in all day every day, and if you have a physical health condition you should be checked over by a physiotherapist before you consider buying one. If you think a mobility scooter is right for you consider the following.

On the next page: Choosing a walking frame

Written by Jessie Snowdon (physiotherapist), On the Go Physio, Christchurch. Copyright 2011.Adapted by HealthInfo clinical advisers. Updated November 2016.

Page reference: 171747

Review key: HICMA-171761